We live in an undeniably digital age where almost everything that can be read can be read digitally. Yet quite a few of us hold on to our love of books that continue to manifest in our homes. However, when these displays start overwhelming our bookshelves, it can become a problem, leaving us with a bunch of places we don’t have. Fortunately, books are one of the best and most widely used props for styling. This is great news for bookworms because it means we can indulge all we want and still live in nice, modern, and most importantly, uncluttered spaces. So if your bookshelf is at full capacity, but your love of books won’t quit, we have tips for styling books (without a bookshelf) that will keep the pages turning and your family photo shoot ready.
Of course, the most natural place for a coffee table book is – the coffee table. So if you have a set of desktop-sized books, this is the start of crafting a stylish vignette. You don’t have to be shy either. A book can have an understated appeal, but a stack can look just as good. Pay attention to the size when building the stack. On a coffee table, you’ll want fairly uniform stacking, not a book pyramid.
1- How to show off your book
Acrylic coffee table with books
Oh the book! People like to keep reading. But if your favorites are collecting dust in forgotten corners, these ideas will show you how to turn your book clutter into a stylish display.
2- Turn your book into the ultimate table
Book as bedside table
This clever arrangement allows the book to act as a one-of-a-kind terminal table. The trick is to create a display that doesn’t collapse easily. Hardcovers stacked horizontally will create a stable surface.
3- Ditch traditional bookshelf
Wall mounted bookshelf
This bookcase handcrafted by AGUSTAV will beautifully dress up a bare wall with your favorite hardcover cover. FYI, its unique suspension system won’t damage the page. It’s also worth mentioning that the makers behind this smart design have over 100 five-star reviews on Etsy.
4- Sort by color and size
Books sorted by color
Bookshelves both organize and beautify living spaces, unless they’re full of neatly arranged books. Color coding your home library will solve this problem. Not only does your bookshelf collection tidier, but it also makes books easier to find if you remember their shades.
Want to create an effortless look? Arrange your color-sorted books horizontally. For a more formal look, organize books by color and size.
5- Display books in a display case
Built-in book display
You can show off your small home library with a Cubby-style wall cabinet. The trick is not to fill every compartment with books. Also, adding some decorative items will increase the visual interest.
6- DIY Unique Coffee Table
This coffee table is a true conversation starter that just about anyone can do. The table top is an old wooden window frame, but you can use just about any hard surface. You’ll need to stack hardcover books under each corner to support the surface. So you know, each stack has to be the same height. See more photos of this apartment here.
7- Create a gallery wall with books
Book gallery wall
Want to take those oversized books off the coffee table? Install ledge ledges on empty walls. They’re often used to show off the framed pictures and artwork, but they’re also great for displaying coffee table books, graphic novels, and vintage children’s books.
8- Create rhythm and appeal
Dozens of books arranged vertically from floor to ceiling look stuffy. Breaking the monotony of the horizontal stack adds some visual rhythm that seems less formal.
9- Let books share your story
“Books tell a lot about people who live at home,” says artist and designer Pablo Solomon. He recommends arranging them in small collections for personal statements. Add a smart bookend related to your monitor theme to create a visual story.
10- Use the stairs to display books
Stair storage is a practical space solution. This idea by Zminkowska De Boise Architects shows how steps can be used to create a home library.
11- Light and airy coffee table
Acrylic coffee table with books
Transparent accents like this acrylic coffee table are a favorite for small spaces, as the ventilation doesn’t seem to overload a small room. Storing colorful books under it creates a stylish display.
12- Boring stairs
Books are stored on the stairs
Are your stairs really boring? Organize it with a bookshelf. The one shown here can be recreated using molding and thick planks. After installation, draw.
13- Pattern book with flower arrangement
One of the keys to turning a stack of books into a photo-ready “moment” is pairing the books with other fashion accessories. For that job, there are several pieces that are as good as flowers. Like books, flowers are used in vignettes to convey a sense of realism that brings a grounded realism to the space, making it seem more like a family than a staged exhibition. Make the most of it in your home by pairing small stacks of books with flowers in your favorite vase.
14- Books by the bed
The bedroom is a great place for your collection of books. A nightstand is always a good option if there is no room for a bookshelf. Here, sitting at a table next to a low bed is the perfect companion for bookworms at rest. Unlike the living room, this nightstand offers a small library of opportunities for your favorite bedtime stories. Again, it adds other accessories like plants, small bowls, and even a bedside lamp, which makes this vignette its glamour look crowded yet controlled, effortless yet cool—the perfect spot for a lazy Sunday.
15- Style book at the entrance
What better way to be greeted every time you walk in the door than by your favorite book? The entrance is the perfect area to style your library work. Credenzas provide plenty of room to showcase your love of the written word, while books provide a backdrop for other accessories. The trick here is picking the right books. Skip paperbacks and go for art and design books with beautiful covers and weights. Don’t be surprised to find yourself perusing your collection every time you come home.
16- Colorful books on tray
For smaller vignettes, it’s helpful to outline the moment in a way that grabs attention in a definite way. Using a tray is one of the best ways to achieve this effect by encapsulating small but impactful elements in your decor. Books can act as a pop of color, especially in rooms that are more neutral in their overall design. But even in more colorful spaces, the right book is a great tool for connecting with other moments of color, creating layers of visual depth in the room. Pair the book you’re displaying with accessories of the same color (like the coasters in the tray shown above) to create a connection even in your vignettes, while vibrant green and yellow flowers provide contrast and complete the picture.
17- Put the book on the pedestal
Another trick for smaller vignettes is to build, not outside. Using a book to elevate another accessory creates attention around that piece while creating a hierarchy and scale within the room. While you might think it’s a lot of luxury to focus on candles or small plants, creating color-coordinated vignettes in simple palettes like black and white shown in this image will make everything stand out.
18- From the floor
The art of creating a perfectly styled yet home is a tricky aspect of design. But knowing how to do it can help you maintain the magic of your everyday environment. Like works of art, books can be displayed on the floor for an authentic and earthy feel. Here’s what you’ll want to include including your vintage finds, old textbooks, used paperbacks and books you’ve held from your childhood. They can all find new life on your floors as part of a showcase of exquisite style.
19- Book in bathroom
Books can affect any room in your home, so why not the bathroom? This is for serious book lovers, dedicated design fanatics, and hardcore bath lovers. Even if you don’t have enough shelf space to accommodate this level of book density, books during bath time can still be a very relaxing treat and a great styling strategy. Whether on a shelf or a tray, books are suitable for bathroom decor as they are anywhere else in the home. All the same concepts apply. The important thing to consider here is to keep the books out of the water to avoid damaging them.